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June 29, 2015
YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA - Today a group of Indonesian firearms advocates announced that they plan to form a gun-rights organization. This group composed of former law enforcement members, bussinessmen and veterans of the Indonesian Armed Forces.
While firearms ownership is "fairly restrictive", meaning "somehwat" restrictive but nothing too draconian for an average citizen to attain a firearm for self-defense, Indonesia currently does not have a gun-rights organization where gun-owners can socialize about their firearms, firearms-related news, and of course, protect their right to bear arms.
Dawood Purnama, a former member of the Indonesian National Police is revealed to be the head of this new organization, as he feels that Indonesia needs a proper firearms-protecting organization.
The name of the organization is to be named PROGUN Indonesia, "PROGUN" is a acronym for Peaceful and Responsible Owners of Guns. Yes, the name is actually influenced from the gun advocacy group in Indonesia's nearby northern neighbor Philippines.
Purnama explains why he named it after the Philippine gun advocacy group, which he says is coming from the ever-growing closer ties between the two nations. It is also influenced from the creation of Eat Bulaga! Indonesia (now stylized as The New Eat Bulaga! Indonesia), the country's own national franchise to the Philippine TV-game show Eat Bulaga!.
"Well you see, our two countries enjoy cordial relations, and many similarities. They adopt many things from us, we do the same. For example, in 2012 when Eat Bulaga! Indonesia first aired, and now Alfamart opening 3,000 stores in the Philippines. So now, I'm continuing that trend to create an organization that would protect Indonesian citizens' right to own a firearm for self-defense or recreational purposes."
Indonesia's gun laws however, are much-less restrictive than that of the Philippines. Indonesia's minimum age for gun owners is 18 years, the Philippines is 21. Indonesians simply must be able to provide that they live in a legal address, and have a stable income, as well as a background checks whereas Filipinos must provide extensive background checks, and have licenses that must be renewed in five years.
However, because the Indonesian government knows of the religious and secterian violences, in fears of gun stores being looted, citizens must purchase guns from a firearms website owned and operated by the Indonesian Armed Forces and the Indonesian National Police. Then they must either pick it up at a police station, or have the police bring it to their homes. Gun stores in the Philippines can be found in shopping malls.
Purnama kept this project fairly behind the scenes. He said, "My and my associates have long-been working on this project, and it's ready to be announced."
Anoter huge motivation for Purnama was the recent events regarding Islamic clerics calling for the disarming of non-Muslims, who fear that armed non-Muslims are going to attempt to overthrow Islam in Indonesia.
Purnama said, "I'm a Muslim, but I don't agree with those clerics who say that Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and all other non-Muslims can't own guns. Many of my close colleagues involved in this project are Christians. This isn't a Muslim organization, it's an Indonesian organization, meaning for all abled and stable-minded Indonesians. If anything, it is these people who shouldn't have guns since they're a threat to the peace well-being of Indonesian society."
Purnama also rejected those claims.
He said, "Nobody is planning to overthrow Islam in Indonesia. People just want to be able to defend themselves. I don't see how that is trying to rid Indonesia of Islam."
PROGUN Indonesia, much like its Philippine counterpart as well as the American NRA also have political lobbying in mind, as well as working with the Indonesian National Police to host recreational shooting events in the country.